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Project Information

Title: Lingering Oil and Sea Otters: Pathways of Exposure and Recovery Status

Project Year and Number: 2004: 040775

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2006: 040620-2, 2005: 040620-2, 2004: 040620-2

Principal Investigator (PI): Brenda Ballachey, DOI

Assisting Personnel: Jim Bodkin

Research Location: Prince William Sound

Restoration Category: Research

Injured Resources Addressed: Sea Otters

Abstract: Some of the strongest evidence of continuing effects of lingering oil from the Exxon Valdez spill comes from long term monitoring of sea otter populations and their exposure to hydrocarbons. Sea otters in heavily oiled areas of western PWS had not recovered as of 2003. Through 2002, sea otters continued to exhibit elevated levels of the cytochrome P4501A biomarker in areas where lingering oil deposits are most prominent. In 2002/03, sea otters at northern Knight Island were instrumented with radiotransmitters and time-depth recorders. Ongoing monitoring of these individuals is quantifying home ranges relative to known intertidal lingering oil deposits, and when the dive data are retrieved and analyzed we will link foraging behaviors of individual sea otters to oiled shorelines and relate patterns of habitat use to individual variation in cytochrome levels. For FY2005, we propose to conduct surveys of population size and distribution, continue to monitor instrumented sea otters to obtain habitat use and survival information, and obtain an additional sample of cytochrome P4501A. This will allow evaluation of continuing exposure to residual oil, population trends, and the status of recovery of sea otters in western PWS.

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Proposal: View PDF (1,077 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2004 , 2005 , 2006

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2004 , 2005 , 2006

Other materials associated with this project: View

Annual Reports: 2004: View (27 KB) 2005: View (33 KB) 2006: Not Applicable

Final Report: Pending re-evaluation of lab results.

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
2006: 040620-2 View (PDF) 2006: Not Applicable
2005: View (PDF)
2004: View (PDF)
See Project 040775 See Project 040775